Closure of borders - overview of adopted measures
In connection with the announcement of a state of emergency, we would like to summarise the basic restrictions for Czech citizens and foreigners permanently staying or working in the Czech Republic or planning to come to the Czech Republic.
Effective from Saturday 14 March 2020, temporary restrictions have been introduced in the Czech Republic that are intended to stop the spreading of COVID-19 (coronavirus). A government decree has introduced the following restrictions:
- All foreigners trying to enter the Czech Republic from high-risk countries are not be allowed to enter. This restriction does not apply to foreigners who hold some type of long-term residence permit issued by Czech authorities (i.e. a temporary residence permit, a long-term residence permit/visa or a permanent residence permit). Foreigners holding one of these permits, however, are subject to quarantine measures upon entering the Czech Republic.
- At the same time, all Czech citizens and foreigners holding a residence permit issued by Czech authorities are prohibited to travel to the high-risk countries.
- Czech representations abroad (i.e. embassies and consulates) neither accept nor handle visa applications and applications for residence permits until further notice.
- Any proceedings handling applications submitted to the Czech representations abroad before the effect of this measure have been interrupted; the proceedings handling applications for short-term visas are suspended.
Exceptions from the above measures may be made; however, in general, only foreigners not holding long-term Czech residence permits or Czech citizens holding a residence permit issued by one of the high-risk countries are allowed to travel to the high-risk regions.
The above measures were further tightened effective from Monday 16 March 2020 when the Czech borders were closed.
Citizens of the Czech Republic and foreigners holding a residence permit issued by Czech authorities are not allowed to leave the territory of the Czech Republic unless an extraordinary situation is concerned. Only Czech citizens and foreigners holding a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit for more than 90 days issued by the Czech authorities who were outside the Czech Republic at the moment the state of emergency was announced should be allowed to return to the Czech Republic. Exceptions from this measure are allowed (e.g. some cases of cross-border employment).
In addition to cancelling business trips abroad, it will also be necessary to consider earlier returns of our employees from their assignments abroad. Once they return to the Czech Republic they will have to follow the relevant instructions of the authorities and undergo respective quarantine measures that concern all high-risk regions as of today.
Regarding the temporary suspension of new applications for residence permits and the interruption or stoppage of the handling of already submitted applications, we can expect delays in relocating employees from abroad.
For foreigners living in the Czech Republic based on a valid residence permit, certain restriction have been introduced. The Ministry of the Interior will only accept mailed applications for e.g. residence permit extensions. The deadlines are automatically extended for submissions requiring personal participation by the law. All existing reservations have been cancelled and a personal visit will only be allowed if they concern registration upon arrival, acquisition of biometric data, issue of residence permits and issue of a bridging label, where supported by the proof of travel.
We are continuously monitoring the situation. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.